Saturday, April 12, 2008

La Palomera

Okay. Three inches includes the wings. But Heather was not exagerating on the sound. It is sort of like the very worst section of a dial-up internet connection played over a boombox ... in God´s house. Photos to come...

We have named our home La Palomera. (the pigeon place, more or less). The reason for this is that it is the pround founder of the FPLLN, or La FundaciĆ³n de las Palomas Luchas Libres de Nicaragua. Basically, The Nicaraguan Foundation of Wrestling Pigeons. It is rather like cock fighting, (which is leagal and common here), except rather than roosters, they are pigeons, and they are on our roof, all day,... every day, and nobody wins any money.

A few vignettes of our life in La Dahlia:

The Plancha Box

It fell from the garbage truck, over-full with banana peals and coco rinds, and landed neatly, squarely, in the middle of the dirt road. The empty box, which recently held a new plancha, or iron, was a prize too enticing for the chavalo to resist. Slowly he picked it from the ground, wary that it would be taken from him. Like a cautious squirel in an overcrowded city park, with a seed or a cheeto, he scampered around the corner.


Our street is made of dirt. But it is very carefully and meticulously maintained dirt. Whatever wonderful things don´t grow on our street, they don´t grow by choice. For those green things which venture to breach the earth, to atempt to bring some life to our street, to our house, quickly fall to the machete blade of Enecefero. Tolerated by adults, teased by children, feared by all things green and happy, Enecefero lives next door. He is and babbling old man who has long since lost his mind. It would seem that the only joy he recieves, comes from his grooming of the earth. For that, we will let Enecefero mow our yard, blade by blade, carefully chopping at grass or moss or vine, until all there is is dirt and rocks as far as the eye can see.

Chicharra Catchers

Imagine the chicharra, the size of the last section of a grown man´s thumb, and as thick, wings twice the length of the striped, scaley body, clinging to the light posts and tree trunks by the tens of dozens. The children surround the captives with there tools: broom handles or long branches topped with a halved half-liter bottle, like a funnel. They scoop the insects from their perches with little resisistence. They hold them in their hands and cause them to "scream." When asked what she would do with it, one little girl replied, "estan como jugetas." "They are as toys."


On a late night treck from the english class we teach, we chanced upon a creature, fortunately dead, in the road. Too big to be a rat, but only slightly too small to be a dog, it required further inspection. The appearance was that of a rat, but the body was about a foot long and the tail as thick as my index finger. Opossum? R.O.U.S.? We may never know.

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